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Code of Conduct
Child Protection is regarded as central to the well-being of children and young people as they play their part in the life of the Catholic Church, within which ‘Best Practice’ promotes an ethos and provides a set of practical policies and procedures to support their development in ways which will promote their security, confidence and independence.
It is necessary that the following Codes of Conduct be applied as a minimum standard in order to support the Diocesan Policy and Procedures in the area of the protection of children and young people.
In relation to children and young people, volunteers and church personnel:
- will treat these individuals and each other with courtesy, dignity and respect.
- will take care to treat each individual with equal respect, favouritism is not acceptable.
- will always engage with them in an open manner.
- will not spend a disproportionate amount of time with any particular individual or group of individuals.
- will not use physical punishment under any circumstances.
- will not verbally abuse any individual.
- will not engage in, or tolerate any behaviour – verbal, psychological or physical – that could be construed as bullying or abusive.
- will avoid inappropriate language and/or sexually suggestive comments, including telling jokes of a sexual nature, either towards these individuals or among themselves.
- will use age-appropriate language, media materials and activities and never any sexually explicit or pornographic material.
- will develop appropriate guidelines in relation to the use of computers, videos, the Internet, cameras and camera phones.
- will ensure an appropriate and adequate ratio of adults to children and young people.
- will avoid being alone with an individual child or young person e.g. in relation to travel, meetings, home visits, remaining in Churches or parish property, where two adults should be present.
- will maintain adequate, gender-appropriate, supervision for males and females.
- will not give alcohol, tobacco, drugs or other illegal substances to individuals under any circumstances.
- will not consume alcohol or tobacco while having responsibility for, or in the presence of, those in their care.
- will not use drugs or other illegal substances under any circumstances.
- will respect their physical integrity at all times.
- will not engage in inappropriate physical contact of any kind – including tough physical play, physical reprimand and horseplay (tickling, wrestling)
- will respect their right to privacy at all times.
- will always act with particular care regarding privacy in locations such as toilets, changing areas etc.
- will not perform tasks of a personal nature for individuals while they are in changing areas (e.g. in the locker room).
- will seek permission from parents / guardians for the taking / use of photographs, the generating of computer images and the making / showing of video recordings of events.
- will not give their personal details to individuals and only the named leader will hold personal details of individuals.
- will only contact individuals via their parents / guardians.